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Have Your Say on Car Parks & Toilets

Posted on: 14th November 2012 | 4 Comments

St Just Town Council and Cornwall Council have been holding talks over the possibility of the Town Council buying the freehold of the public car parks and toilets in St Just and Pendeen.

There is currently no charge for using the car parks in St Just and Pendeen and the discussions have stemmed from the Town Council’s wish to keep them free rather than have ticket machines installed.

Cornwall Council is considering the future management of a number of small car parks as part of its commitment to encouraging local communities to provide more services locally. As income from car parks is used to support the delivery of frontline services, handing over key strategic town centre car parks to local communities would put additional pressure on the Council’s budget.

However, as these car parks are not currently fee paying, discussions have been taking place with the Town Council over the possibility of buying the freeholds. Any transfers would be based on the market value of the sites. The Town Council is also concerned about retaining the public toilets which have also formed part of the talks on the freeholds.

Following the initial discussions with Cornwall Council, the Town Council now wants to hear the views of local residents before making a decision on whether to accept the offer.

“The Town Council feels that keeping the car parks free, and the toilets open, is essential to the local economy and the tourist trade on which local businesses are dependent” said Councillor Kevin McFadden, Chair of the Town Council’s Premises Committee.

Cornwall Council has commissioned an independent valuation to establish the purchase value. As the Town Council does not have extensive financial reserves, any decision to go ahead with the freehold purchase would mean that the Town Council would have to borrow the money, the repayment of which would fall to local tax payers through their council tax.

“We are aware that local tax payers have already seen an increase in their Council Tax as a result of the decision to enter into the formal agreement with Cornwall Council to avoid car parking charges being introduced this year” said Kevin McFadden. “This is why we want to hear your views on the proposal before we set the precept for 2013 / 2014.

“This is probably the biggest decision that the Town Council has faced in recent years and therefore it’s important that local people have the opportunity to have their views heard.”

Local residents are being asked to forward their views to Elaine Baker, Town Clerk, St Just Town Council, Council Offices, 1 Chapel Street, St Just TR19 7LS or email consultations@stjust.org

4 Responses

  1. David Hall-Davies says:

    Whilst I feel the purchasing of Car parks and Public toilets within St Just and Pendeen is a sound idea in principle, the thinking that follows from that is idealistic and flawed. Firstly the town council should not be borrowing funds to purchase something to then give away for free, it has no sound business thinking and lacks any long-term business planning or considered development strategy.

    St Just and Pendeen are astoundingly beautiful areas of Cornwall, which are frequented by quite a reasonably steady flow of visitors throughout the year and attracts a considerable number during the high season. Charging is a way of funding the purchase of the properties in the first instance and in time will allow the Town Council to invest locally in developing an infrastructure for a better tourism future. Car-park charging is something people have come to expect and provided it is reasonable, visitors are more than willing to contribute too, especially if the Council makes it clear by way of signage what’s its doing and why.

    You describe it as the biggest decision the town council has made in recent years, I do have to question the logic of this apparent preferred option at a time when the government is talking about a third dip recession, council taxes are marching up, infrastructure maintenance is going down, core services are been cut.

    St Just town council has a duty to not only serve the community now, but to ensure that whatever they do now, creates a legacy that we the inhabitants of the town will be proud of in the future.

    • Elaine Baker says:

      Dear Mr Hall-Davies,

      Thank you for your comments which will be brought to the appropriate committee’s attention when the issue of the purchase of the freeholds are again discussed.

      Regards

      Elaine Baker
      Tpwn Clerk

  2. Kelvin Collins says:

    I fear that charging for parking is a serious threat to the town.
    Paying for parking will make the difference between popping to Olds/McFaddens and the Co-op, or driving into PZ and getting more than you could ever need at the glittering new tower of Sainsburys.
    The fact that the car park is nearly always busy all year suggests that it’s the locals that use it most though – so let’s consider too what the streets will be like when all those parking there now start parking around and about the town.
    Charging for parking may be expected, but also it has sounded the death knell for towns across Britain.
    KC

    • Elaine Baker says:

      Hello Kelvin,

      Thank you for your comments regarding car parking charging.

      Please let me reassure you that the Town Council has no plans for parking charges to be introduced in St Just or Pendeen and in the short / medium term and is continuing with the Memorandum of Understanding between itself and Cornwall Council to ensure that this remains the case. In addition, the Town Council is still working towards purchasing the freehold of the car parks and public conveniences from Cornwall Council.

      Regards

      Elaine Baker
      Town Clerk

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